PISCATAWAY, N.J. (April 16, 2014) – The Rutgers women’s lacrosse team (7-7, 1-3 BIG EAST) hits the road to take on Cincinnati (6-8, 0-4 BIG EAST) and No. 18/19 Louisville (10-3, 4-0 BIG EAST) in BIG EAST action on Thursday, April 17 and Saturday, April 19, respectively. The road trip marks RU’s final two road tests of the season. Rutgers closes out the regular season “On the Banks” on Friday, April 25 against Temple.
The Scarlet Knights look to build on their first BIG EAST win of the season, as the squad took down Marquette, 12-6, on Friday, April 11 at the RU Turf Field. Rutgers went 1-1 in league action last week, falling to Georgetown, 15-10, on Sunday, April 13 at High Point Solutions Stadium.
Redshirt junior midfielder Lauren Sbrilli (Martinsville, N.J.) was named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor roll on April 15, after registering a team-high seven points on seven goals between both games. Against Georgetown, Sbrilli recorded a career-high five goals, while adding two draw controls, two caused turnovers and a ground ball.
On the season, she leads RU in both points (27) and goals (23). In 13 games, Sbrilli has notched a point in all but two contests and has also tallied four hat tricks and six multi-goal games.
Redshirt sophomore Kristin Kocher (Medford, N.J.) has been a threat for the Scarlet Knights on the offensive end as of late, totaling 11 points in the team’s last three games. On April 11 against the Golden Eagles, Kocher tied her career-high in both points (five) and goals (four) to lead RU to its first league win.
SERIES VS. CINCINNATI: RU leads, 4-1
LAST MEETING: Cincinnati 9, RU 8 in Cincinnati, Ohio (April 28, 2013)
Cincinnati enters Thursday’s matchup looking to snap a five-game losing streak that dates back to March 28. The Bearcats most recent loss came against Temple, 19-3, on Sunday, April 13 in Philadelphia. Cincinnati has not won a contest since beating Detroit on March 23 and has yet to pick up a conference victory this season.
During the losing streak, the Bearcats have been outscored, 78-23.
Cincinnati is led by sophomore midfielder Courtney Curtis, who leads the team in goals (25) and is tied for first on the squad in points (32). Junior midfielder Ashley Helmrath leads the team in assists (14) and second in goals (18).
Last year on the road, Rutgers fell to the Bearcats, 9-8, in the regular season finale. The loss marked RU’s first-ever defeat to Cincinnati. RU was led by attacker Megan Clements (Pennington, N.J.), who posted a goal and a career-high three assists. Attacker Katrina Martinelli (Moorestown, N.J.) and midfielder Chrissy Schreiber (East Meadow, N.Y.) added two goals apiece.
The Bearcats took an early 2-0 lead over the Scarlet Knights, until RU rallied back to take a 4-3 advantage into the halftime break. Rutgers led by as many as three at 8-5 with 10 minutes remaining in regulation, until the hosts rattled off four-straight scores, including the game-winner with 18 seconds remaining to seal the win.
SERIES VS. LOUISVILLE: Louisville leads, 4-2
LAST MEETING: Louisville 14, RU 1 in Louisville, Ky. (April 26, 2013)
GAME DAY LINKS: Live Stats
Louisville will host UConn on Thursday, April 17 before welcoming RU to the University of Louisville Lacrosse Stadium two days later. The Cardinals, currently atop the BIG EAST Conference standings, have yet to drop a league game. Winners of six-straight contests, Louisville’s last loss came against Notre Dame, 12-9, on March 8.
The Cardinals rank first in the conference in goals (196), assists (71), points (267), ground balls (216), draw controls (220) and caused turnovers (119). Louisville boasts the sixth-best scoring offense in the NCAA, scoring 15.08 goals per game. The Cards are also first in the NCAA in draw controls (16.92/game).
Louisville features four of the top 10 scorers in the conference, including the BIG EAST leading scorer Nikki Boltja. The senior attacker has produced a team-high 68 points on 52 goals in 13 games. Additionally, Boltja’s 4.00 goals per game ranks second nationally. Junior attacker Faye Brust is second in both the league and team in goals (45) and points (49), while senior attacker Jamie Redding leads the team with 21 assists. Redding’s 1.62 helpers per game is tied for second in the conference.
Last year, the Cardinals defeated RU by a score of 14-1 at the UofL Lacrosse Stadium on April 26. Nikki Boltja tallied five goals to lead Louisville. Midfielder Jenny Vlahos (Manhasset, N.Y.) posted a solid day on defense for the Scarlet Knights, causing two turnovers while controlling two draws and scooping two ground balls.
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